Friday, July 28, 2006

Main Event

Has started today. I'm on day 1d, so first day for me is the 31st. Not terribly excited about it, though I probably should be. I've built up a mean stack several times in this WSOP, even made one dinner break, but have not monied yet and I don't anticipate my first cash (much less a final table or a win) is going to come in this 9,000 player+ event. Though going to play my A game and be plenty rested yada yada.

Got a nice goodie bag from stars with a bunch of Stars jerseys and a Jacket. Quality site PokerStars is. Too bad all the fish are at Party.

Steaming along setting up my business and I'm thinking of staying here for a bit to run it myself. Now that the call center is setup and we have cubicles etc, I'm getting pretty excited about it. When I ran the company before I didn't have near the bankroll to throw at it, but now I can do it the right way. With poker not going the way I want it to right now I'm thinking it might be a good time to take a little vacation and put all of my efforts into the business.

We'll see though, if I make day 2 (and then 3 and 4) of the Main Event, I will probably be singing a different tune entirely.

Wish me luck and good luck to you if you are in the Main Event also.


Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One Year as a Pro!!

What an amazing year it has been. One year ago today, sitting in my office in Davis, California, I decided to put my company on hold and play poker full-time. At the time I was grinding out $33-$109 SNG’s. I was making a bit of money and thought my chances of success were good, especially after I had just cashed for over $15,000 in a PartyPoker Super Monday Tournament. That was an obscene amount of money for me at the time, winning it made me high for over a week.

Little did I know what the future would have in store for me. This year has brought me personal and financial success that I never thought possible. The capper came in May when I won over $100,000 in a poker tournament, nearly ten times what I won last July. Though the happiness and joy this tournament win brought me were nothing compared to what I felt last year. To be able to lead this life, to have 100% financial and personal freedom, is such a gift. Its been a great run.

I’ve had a dream to travel the world continuously since I took my first trip abroad in the summer of 2001. I went to Europe over summer for six weeks and caught the ‘travel bug’ full-on. Everything since then had been planning to take that trip. In October of last year, I started that journey. I hit the road for Bangkok, Thailand with two of my closest friends. After Bangkok I came back and packed my things and hit the road for good. I went to Amsterdam, Paris and Munich, then back to Thailand.

I decided to settle into Thailand and while there traveled extensively throughout the country. While there I visited Australia, Japan, Hawaii and took a trip back to America for some WSOP prep. In June I returned to Vegas to play in my first WSOP events.

I’ve had some amazing experiences over the past year, and made more money than I thought was possible. I’m in such a good position now that I am restarting my business to have basically as an asset. It shouldn’t require too much of my time at all as I’ve hired a great manager to oversee things for me.

Poker is still my greatest passion, that I also consider a huge victory. Many people burn out on the game and lose the love. I have not lost it one bit.

For anybody wondering whether going pro is for them, I’d say to be properly bankrolled first. Have six months of living expenses saved up. Be confident in your game and willing to work at it everyday, and give it a shot. I can’t imagine a better lifestyle than this one. It has its ups and downs but the perks absolutely cannot be beat.

I’m having a hard time imagining what my life might look like in one, two or three years. I know it will look good, better than I could have anticipated a year ago. I can say confidently that if I want to be playing poker for a living at that time…that is exactly what I will be doing. I have proven myself a winner at One Table
Tournaments both online and live, Multi Table Tournaments both online and live and in cash games both online and live.

I hope to continue preparing for a very early retirement and playing the game I love while traveling the world. The rest will take care of itself.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Update

Sorry to anybody who has been waiting for an update. I haven't much been in the mood to write lately. Had a big night out the other night with Rob (from Thailand), we were planning on meeting some of his friends for bottle service and strippers at Ghost Bar but Brit's don't beleive in cell phones so we missed them. No worries, we checked out Jet, a new club at Mirage. Its top notch. Very nice place. Three rooms and a good crowd, me and rob got completely wrecked and chased around every pack of asian girls we could find. We probably would have had some success if we weren't so drunk lol

I vaguely recall saying goodbye to Rob when he was talking to somebody (I'm assuming female, but I really don't remember) and I think this was at Rio, but it could have been at Mirage or who knows where.

Anyway I woke up Sunday still drunk and not in time to play the NLHE Shootout event. Fun times though. I checked my phone and I called up my friend Will, who I haven't spoken to in awhile now...we got in a fight and he's still mad at me. If you read this, I miss you bro and please give me a call. I have no idea what I said to him but I'm sure it wasn't coherent as I was beyond wasted.

The next night went out again with Rob and some English/Irish buddies of his to a great restaurant in Wynn called Tableau. I'd never been to a REALLY nice restaurant before, and it was awesome. With tip it was $1,100 for the six of us, but it was an amazing meal. Several courses, great wine, amazing fillet of something I can't pronounce. We tried Vodoo lounge after but that lasted a whopping one drink as all of us were clearly still hungover.

Tuesday played the $1,500 NL and finally got hold of some chips and went pretty deep. 2,100 players started and I lasted till about 600 left, which was pretty phenomenal consdering my showings in other events. Went out running a big bluff, but whatever, I'm proud of my showing. $5k NL short-handed in a few days that I'm really looking forward to, and the Main Event just around the corner.

Business is coming together very well, I'm very lucky to have found a great manager to run things for me who has way more experience in the industry than I do. I'm also blessed to have luckboxed my way into enough money to pay his salary. I'm hoping to be back to Thailand in mid to late August as long as things keep going as they are with the business.


Thats all for now, I'll try to update a bit more frequently.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Friday, July 14, 2006

Just Owned to $1k SNG's

Just played two back to back $1000+30 SNG's at Rio with some of the best players in the world. I refused to chop heads up twice with players who are probably considered far better than me, and beat them both. With the last longer bets, +$20,000.

The first table featured Dewey Tomko and Surrindar Sunar, Sunar and me went heads up.

The second table had Amnon Filippi, a rising tourney pro, and Perry Green who placed second in the WSOP main event twice. Me and Green went heads up and after a long battle, I finally came out on top.

I ran well in both tournaments but my play was superb, finally. I haven't been on top of my game lately and this is a huuuuge confidence booster that I desperately needed.

Still down for the trip but the gap is closing fast.


Apathy, Jman and iMsoLucky0 all busted before the final table, Apathy to a sick beat in 8th place. Nath made the final table and will be representing 2+2 tomorrow, hopefully for our first bracelet.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

STTF Owns $2,500 6-Max Event

I lasted a bit over four hours in this one when I slowly built up my stack and ran into AA in the BB when I made a beautiful re-raise of a button steal from SB. Thats poker. Quite frustrating after I thought this was finally going to be my day.

Though 3 guys who I came up with in STT's are absolutely destroying the event. With 6 tables (30 something players) remaining, Jman28 (Phil Galfond), iMSoLUcky0 (Jordan Morgan) and Apathy (Peter Jetting) all have very strong chip stacks and a fantastic shot at making a final table. Another 2+2 regular, Nath, also has a mountain of chips. What an amazing showing by these guys. Anybody over at the Rio should def drop by and check them out, or follow on 2+2 or CardPlayer.

Good luck!!!


Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rio Made Amends

Finally went over and talked to the head cage person at Rio. She apologized several times but wan't willing to do anything besides refund my $25. I told her I'd gone through a great deal of stress and I wanted them to do something to make me feel that the Rio cared about my business. She wouldn't budge on this and she got the Tournament Director to assist me. I didn't get this guy's name but he's a real class act. Probably 70 years old, in charge of all of the tournaments at Rio. Finally somebody who was as shocked as I was at the fact that my money could get misplaced like that.

So he's asking me what he can do to make up for it and I didn't really know what to say. '6 MONTHS FREE ROOM AND 10 HOOKERS!!!' lol What do you say to this nice old man who's just apologizing over and over? I told him my plan was to stay at the Rio for 5 weeks but after this and the hotel room treatment I didn't want to come back at all. He said he'd get the poker rate room for me that night and comp the first few nights for me. That was enough for me, even though I probably could have pushed for more.

It was the first instance I'd seen of the Rio caring about their customers at all. Again my opinion stands that the floor people there are top notch, the support staff could use some work.

So my boycott is over, I'm staying at the Rio now, probably through the Main Event.

Played the $1000NL event yesterday and after waiting for 90 minutes as an alternate got to post 1 big blind and 1 small blind before busting out w/ KQs making a move on AQs on a Txx flop. He looked like a timid scared kid who I could push off most hands, he thought for like three minutes and frustrated threw in his chips. Nice call son.

Pot Limit event today. I've been told its the exact same game as NL except for the element of the huge all-in PF raise. I'll give it a shot.


Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rollin



Couldn't get any financing on a used Benz cuz my credit sucks, so I decided to put down a large deposit and go for the new c230. There it is. Its the lowest model Benz available, picked it up for $33.8k...but I can't tell the difference. Handling is better than any car I have ever driven and everytime I get into it I stop for about a full minute and just look at it and grin.

I deserve it.

It's also fantastic luck as I drove it over to Rio last night (first trip to play poker in it) on my poker break and won the $540 second chance tourney, in my second shot at it. First time I won in a chop, this time I played it out.

$16,500 paid for half the car :)

Moving right along starting up Discount Connection Las Vegas. A good friend of mine works for a very similar company in Santa Barbara and I'm working on getting him out to Vegas to work for me. Also meeting up with a manager soon who has 15 years of experience running call centers, something I was very poor at even though I understand the business very well. Being a manager is not something I excel in or even want to do.

Still looking for an assistant. I have no idea how to go about responding to all of these resume's. But whatever, it'll work itself out.

Think I'm going to hold off on cash games for the rest of the series as I am playing great tournament poker right now but not so great cash game poker. I'm trying to get too fancy but in the tourneys I seem to be playing very well...the results are aligning with how I am playing as well.

I am still down for this trip even though I've now cashed for over $34,000 in MTT's.


Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Break Time

Time for me to take a little poker break. Not sure exactly what it is that is doing it but I'm not playing poker well right now. I have flashes of playing well but in any given 10 hour stretch at the table I'm probably playing well for three of those. The other seven I'm either trying too hard to win pots, having fancy play syndrome or just playing badly because I really don't care about the outcome.

All of this is the product of my bankroll being too big right now, being down money for the trip and me having too much success recently and that going to my head and also excitement about being in the WSOP.

So break time.

I have a lot of stuff I want to get done off of the felt so this seems like the perfect time to go after that. Discount Connection (the company I put on hold to play poker) has so much potential and I'm in the perfect place to start that business again, so I'm going to put some time into it and throw some money at hiring some employee's, getting office space etc. It really can't lose, I put the company on hold a year ago now and I still have a couple grand every month coming in in recurring billings. Its such a sweet business model.

I'll still play in the Main Event and most likely more events but for probably at least this week, I'm going to try and get my feet back on the ground and do some non-poker stuff.

To my WSOP backers, I've now played in 2 events for a total of $4,000 in buy-ins. No cashes so far. I'll keep you guys posted on when my next event will be.


Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I am Boycotting the Rio

What a horribly run place. The floor people for the WSOP are the only saving grace I can find, along with the very nice suites they have.

The SNG satellite system is horrendous, they make players wait in long lines before getting tables. They've turned the whole event into a huge marketing tool and have turned none of that revenue over to the players who make it all happen, on the contrary, they get us for every nickel they can at every corner.

All of that would not make me boycot the place but these two incidents have sent me over the line:


First I didn't want to leave all of my funds in my Bellagio box and have to transfer it back and forth for each event, for cash games etc. So I went to Rio and got a box there. I posted this on 2+2 as well so I'll just post here what happened:

Link to thread on 2+2

I usually keep my cash at Bellagio, which is more than happy to provide a very secure safe box for any of their hi limit players. Just have to get a referral from a floor man in the poker room. Though I'm going to be buying into a lot of events and playing satellites and cash games at Rio as well, and don't want to decide too far in advance which events etc, so decided to get a safe at Rio as well.

BAD IDEA

First off, they charge you $25 to use the safe on top of the industry standard $100 deposit. I have never, in any casino, been charged a fee for this. They did.

Next, they only allow the box to be used during the WSOP. At the end you have to clear it out, by the day after the main event, or they turn over the contents of the box to the state. wtf? yes this can be avoided if you plan, but what a stupid retarded ass policy. why not just hold it for you like any other casino does? 'because it is a special event'. thats just friggin rediculous.

Ok I knew all of this, and decided the positives of having money there were better than having to bring it back and forth from Bellagio or whatever, so I did it.


Tonite I go to access my box after getting it 2 days ago, and they try my key and it does not work. They look up my name and they say the key I have is not for a box that is in my name. They say the box that is in my name does not work with this key.

They finally open up the box that is in my name, and it is empty!!!!!! I left a large amount of cash in my box two days ago. I'm left there for at least ten minutes wondering what is going on and if I am ever going to get see my money again. They ignore my questions and speak in hush tones as they look through files and mess with keys. Finally they apologize and tell me there has been a mistake.

They put my box in somebody else's name, and luckily that person had not come in yet to access it. The other persons box was in my name and luckily there was nothing in it, or I would have had access to it, and that would be a problem.

So finally they use the key I have on the other person's box and I am able to convince them it is mine by telling them how much money is in it exactly, and how it is arrainged. I was also able to tell them a specific piece of paper that was in the box. This satisified them, and I was able to get my money.

Obviously I'd decided after all of this that I'd deal w/ storing it elsewhere, and I asked for my $25 fee back. Sorry, we can't help you with that, you paid the fee.

So ya. If you plan on leaving a lot of money there, I'd say its a bad move. Might as well go with a better casino with more well trained employees.


Ok so as if that weren't enough, two nights ago I got a room at Rio. Staying with Nick a bit off of the strip I thought would work, but its having me playing less. I also love the amenities you can get staying in a big hotel. So anyway, got a room there and asked the front desk what the poker rate was. $109 weekday, $199 weekend. I asked how much it would be to check in on my own, and that price was cheaper. I didn't want to lose my spot though for the poker rate, as I could have had that one for over a month. I ask the woman if I'd be gauranteed to have a room if I came back in two nights. She gaurantee's I'd have a room and they have an entire tower dedicated to the WSOP. Cool, I book my room for two nights and go about my business.

This morning I go back up there to switch rooms.

"Sorry, we're booked."

"Yes, but I was told you had rooms set aside for the WSOP."

"We did, we are booked now. We can give you a room for $350 if you like."

"Manager please"

"Hi, we're booked, can't help you"

"I was promised a room.

"Well we don't have any, come back on Monday"

"This woman just said I could have one tonite if I paid more"

"We are booked, we have no rooms tonite"

"So you are saying that two of your employees have now lied to me in the last two days?"

"I guess so"

At this point I explain to him what happened with the safe box and while I want to give this company a lot of business for the place they are in as host of the WSOP, its getting very hard for me now. I ask him to make an exception for me and set me up with a room tonite, at the poker rate ($199).

"Sorry, you have to come back on Monday, we don't have any rooms tonite"


Wow.


I have never in my life experienced such lack of concern for keeping customers as I have gotten at the Rio this week. I advise any reader of this blog to try as hard as you can to take your business elsewhere. I will still be playing the WSOP events and satellites there, but they will get none of my cash game play money, nor will I ever stay in their hotel again.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill